I guess you could say that we're magazine junkies. We have more subscriptions than are humanly possible to read. My husband has an entire drawer in his bathroom vanity dedicated to The Magazines That Came This Month That I Have Not Had Time to So Much as Crack Open because I can't stand wading through them while trying to locate the toilet.
Most of them are technical journals. I married a geek. Then there are the “shared” magazines like MacWorld, MacLife, MacAddict, Business 2.0, and Inc (dubbed thusly because they are my husband's magazines, but I actually read them). There's the Ensign along with the obligatory double conference issue. (Can you spell P-I-O-U-S?)
Then there is my magazine. This consists of whatever free, complementary issue some fledgling publishing company decided to hoist upon me this month, having received my name and address from any number of junk mail databases.
Yesterday I was browsing through one such magazine. It was the new, the proud, the Wasatch Woman. Hey, I'm a woman and I live in the heart of the Wasatch Range, approximately. This is for me.
The magazine is beautiful; throughout it's very visually appealing with gorgeous photos and art on every page. And it's got that nice, heavy, shiny paper that just screams, “We used nice, heavy, shiny paper!”
I open the front cover to find an ad for the “hottest designer” maternity company in, I guess, Wasatch. The protruding woman is wearing a skanky little number. OK, it's not really skanky, but my very Wasatchy garments aren't going to add to the look. I move on.
Next page features non-surgical cellulite reduction treatment. The afters look great, but I'm afraid only a scalpel has a chance in heck to save me.
Then we have the two-page spread for Celebrity Style Imaging. Because “Art is Forever.” That's a new twist on the eternal perspective, but I think the scrapbooking crowd might go for it.
Just when I'm ready to send it to one of my slim, pregnant, famous friends, I turn one more page. The table of contents actually looks promising minus the 12-page, photo-dense section on homemade cakes, the article on navigating divorce, and the article by two really thin, beautiful women discussing the trouble they encountered learning to be “comfortable in the skin they're in.” (I'll be happy to let them try out my skin for a week or two, if they really want something to write about. All sales are final.)
This brings me, finally, to the point of my story. (You knew it would come, didn't you?) Finally on the From the Editor page I find reason to dig deeper. Barbara Vineyard, the editor, said:
More than anything, my parents were a team. Dad worked at making money, mom worked at making a home. And, Mom supported Dad. She is my inspiration and the reason we chose, in this issue, to honor women who have given up careers to support their husbands and raise their babies. These are some of Utah's most notable women.
I'm off, looking for the great article about stay-at-home moms. Front to back. Again. Back to the table of contents. Finally, I just start thumbing through. Wait, this must be it. It's the cover story titled Utah's Leading Ladies: A brief glimpse into the lives of 6 of Utah's most notable women. OK. Page 20.
Next up was Gail Miller, wife of Larry Miller who owns the Utah Jazz, a whole mess of theater complexes, a bunch of auto retailers, and about 48% of the state of Utah.
The third inductee to the Mom Hall of Fame is D. Wright, wife of KSL talk show host, Doug Wright. According to the article, she didn't actually “given up her career to support her husband and raise their babies,” but she did give up part of her career, so that counts. She is a cute empty-nester who has three children, N., P., and D., Jr.
Cute-as-a-button mom-of-three-boys Holly Mendenhall, wife of BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall, next discusses how she blew Bronco off for ten years before she gave in and (figuratively) walked down the aisle. (Great defense, Holly!)
Next we learn all about Suzan Young, who is married to The Heathen University of Utah president, Michael Young. (I think any further support of such literary vitriol will only confirm a spot for me in outer darkness. I best move on.)
Last of all, we have the “sunny, Southern California personality” of Claudia Cannon, wife of my least favorite, Republicanish, LDS politician on the planet, Chris Cannon. (Hint: amnesty.)
Some of these women seem very bright, some are very pretty, some have done great community service, some have raised decent, responsible adults. Generally speaking, their lives and contributions seem commendable. But what they have in common is husbands who are famous and husbands who range from relatively well-heeled to enormously wealthy.
Is that really what makes them the “most notable women” in all of Utah, or just the most noticed women in Utah?
At the risk of sounding like a Young Woman giving a sacrament meeting talk, I looked up notable in the dictionary. I guess when I read the title I was thinking they'd be going for the first definition:
- worthy of note
Instead, they went with the second:
Seriously, I take nothing away from these admirable women. They do stand out in many ways. May they live long and (continue to) prosper. Still, I find the celebrity aspect of this praise troubling. Surely, of all the women on the Wasatch Front who chose to stay home to raise their babies, there is at least one who isn't married to someone famous and wealthy who is “worthy of note.”
But hey, at least they picked two people who don't yet have their own entry in Wikipedia.